IWM Duxford features in Guy Martin’s Battle of Britain on Channel 4
IWM Duxford was featured in the first episode of Guy Martin’s Battle of Britain at the weekend, as the sportsman and TV presenter attempted to become an RAF pilot.
The show, the opening episode of which aired on Channel 4 on Sunday (April 18), puts Guy through his paces – “Top Gun, World War II-style” – as a wannabe RAF pilot, training him on the same planes, weapons, manuals and airfields as the thousands of young men who rushed to join up during the war.
Their average age was 20, and their training took more than 120 hours. Guy, on the other hand, is noticeably older than that and he only has two episodes in which to master the basics (the second will be shown this coming Sunday), in order to survive an aerial dogfight in a Hawker Hurricane against a Messerschmitt 109.
Guy began his training, under the watchful eye of experienced vintage display pilot Anna Walker, initially in a de Havilland Tiger Moth biplane, famed for its service during World War I.
The programme’s director, James Woodroffe, said: “This project was all about finding out whether Guy Martin could have made it as a Battle of Britain fighter pilot.
“We wanted to give Guy as authentic a training experience as possible, following a similar training programme to the RAF recruits of 1940 – so it was very special to be able to film at historic Duxford.
“Guy’s instructor Anna Walker put him through his paces in ‘Wacky Wabbit’, a well-known Harvard aircraft based at the airfield, which saw Guy learn his first combat manoeuvres.”
Having successfully completed the first part of the training, Guy’s next flying experience will see him attempt to fly a Hawker Hurricane in a dogfight against another famous aircraft that lives at Duxford: a Spanish-built Messerschmitt 109, flown by the Aircraft Restoration Company’s John Romain.
James reveals that the last time John and his “enemy aircraft” flew in a dogfight was for the Christopher Nolan movie, Dunkirk.
To see how Guy gets on against him, watch Guy Martin’s Battle of Britain this Sunday (April 25), at 9pm on Channel 4.